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CollegeFinanceYour Rights

I don’t have Photo ID or proof of address, how do I identify myself?

Official Photo ID (e.g. Passport/ Learners Permit) and/or proof of address is becoming more and more necessary to do simple tasks such as opening a bank account, receiving social welfare payment or registering to vote. But not everyone has had a need to travel abroad or learn to drive.

So what do you do if you don’t have official ID such as a Passport?

  • Apply for your Passport – this is probably the simplest solution (the Irish Passport Card is cheaper than a full passport).

If it is not practical to get a passport at present:

Each establishment or organisation will have a list of alternative documents they will accept – so it is worth getting in contact or looking at their website to see if there are any other documents that you can use to verify your identify – different places will accept different things. The more you have, the better.

Here are some other documents that may help to confirm your identity:

  • Full Birth Certificate that was issued in Ireland (people born outside of Ireland may not be able use this method) is an important document to have .
  • Public Services Card
  • Medical Card
  • Social Welfare Free Travel Pass
  • European Health Insurance Card
  • Bank Card
  • College Student Card 
  • Government National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) Residency Card for Non – Irish Nationals who are not citizens of the EU/EEA or Switzerland. (This of course has it’s own set of criteria when applying to get one)
  • Age Card. If you are over 18, you should look at getting an Age Card – Apply online, costs €10.  They send out an application form within 3 working days based on the info you have given them online.  You get your passport size photos taken in a photo booth or pharmacy, you fill in the form and take all with you – proof of address too – to the Garda Station and they send off the photos and form for printing and you receive your Age card ID back within 10 working days. Although the Garda website state the Age Card is not an identity card many establishment will accept it as one.

Under 18

  • a letter from school, on headed paper confirming name and address and date of birth – that is stamped by the school, signed and dated – might be accepted along with other documents like a birth cert.

Previously anyone could get a completed ‘proof of Identity’ form, called the ML10 form from the Gardai, but this is no longer accepted in any of the institutions we contacted.  Acceptance of the ML10 stopped in Oct 2022. 

And if you don’t have a proof of address?

We frequently hear, “I live with my parents so I have no bills or official letters in my name sent to my address.”

It is not unusual for a young  person to not have any bills in their name, nor to have worked or have had any official dealings with the government yet. You might have had something with your PPS card, or when applying for a medical card, but if you were not expecting to use it, you may have thrown out any letter than came with the cards.

A tip we got from a bank official was to apply to the Revenue Office for a P21 end of year statement from the revenue office. The quickest and easiest way to get the Form P21 is to request it online from PAYE Anytime. If you have not already registered, you can register now. Once logged on to PAYE Anytime, select the relevant prior tax year, then ‘Request a (P21) Balancing Statement’ and follow the on-screen instructions. Further details of how to do this are on the revenue website here

Another way to get a P21 is to phone or email your local Revenue office and they will post one out to you. It won’t take long.  Don’t worry if you have never paid tax or had a job, they will write to you telling you that you have paid no tax. This is what you want, as you will then have a letter from the Revenue addressed to you at  your house.

Get a ‘letter of introduction’.  This could be a letter from your school or college on headed paper, signed, dated and stamped, confirming your name, address and date of birth.   This could also be like a solicitor, Justice of the Peace, TUSLA Social worker or Medical Doctor – But they must know you (the bank can tell you who they might accept).
NB: The above are suggestions only – each institution or organisation will have their own criteria which might not include any of the above.

So, in summary

  • Get a full Irish Birth certificate
  • Collect other types of documents where you can
  • Get a P21 in your name sent to your home as your proof of address
  • Get a letter of introduction from school or college (Signed, Dated and including name, address and date of birth)
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